Re: external hard drives

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Thanks Karl,

I use LaCie's hope they stay with tradition.


-----Original Message----- From: Karl Shah-Jenner
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:36 PM
To: List for Photo/Imaging Educators - Professionals - Students
Subject: external hard drives

Just  aheads up for those using external hard drives - I've been asked to
recover a small western digital passport hard drive and the prospects aren't
looking good.

Normally I find a standard drive inside with a USB or firewire interface
card attached, and the problem often lies with this interface card -
removing the drive and popping it directly into a computer I can get on with
recovering data and all's good..  Having standard drives inside external
cases can be good too in that price specials come up that mean it can be
cheaper to buy an external drive, pry it from its case and using it inside a
PC or laptop to upgrade or add a drive to the computer for less cost than
buying a bare drive.

However, once I pried open the case to reveal the actual hard drive I
discovered the internal drive uses an integral usb interface and not a
standard sata/pata interface.  This is not cool - not at all.  Apparently
Samsung has also been doing this too so it looks like a future trend driven
by cost savings at the point of manufacture.

The problem is that while the drive appears to be fine and makes all the
right noises on startup, the computer doesn't see the drive at all - which
suggests the usb interface has failed.

So as the only way to easily talk to it is through the now non functional
USB and that option is gone, the next way will be by swapping the hard
drives board - something that rarely had to be done with conventional drives
and means sacrificing a new drive at least once to recover the data on the
old drive - or by butching the drive board to try to pull the serial data
off from some point.. which will not be easy - and even then the data is
likely to be encrypted (according to )

Here's some pics I found of what this interface looks like:

Anyway this is just a warning that some newer external drives, while
conveniently small and cheap (cough.. that's the new benchmark for
everything these days, right?) may be a bit of a time bomb regarding
preservation of data.

My advice is research any drives before you buy and find out whether they
contain conventional style drives, and avoid these new ones like the plague



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